China’s government has been working overtime to promote nationalistic propaganda amid the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak exposed the systematic weaknesses in China’s government system. That’s why the Chinese Communist Party is exaggerating its control of the situation and trying to link the coronavirus outbreak with foreigners.
This is propaganda designed to bolster China’s nationalist self-image and legitimize their authoritarian system.
The Chinese word for China is “Zhōngguó” which literally means “Central Kingdom.” The narrative that China is better than everybody else is a key ingredient in nationalist propaganda.
The Communist Party’s heavy censorship and relentless propaganda ensure that most citizens never leave this self-glorifying bubble. That’s why the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic is a little bit awkward for Chinese authorities.
Chinese authorities in Shanghai and Guangdong will make travelers from Japan, South Korea, Iran and Italy submit to quarantine upon entering the country. According to the government-controlled publication Global Times , these countries may not be capable of fully monitoring and controlling Covid-19.
China backs this assumption up with fake statistics that underreport the severity of Covid-19 in China.
South Korea has 5,186 confirmed cases of Covid-19 while Chongqing, a province that borders the epicenter of the outbreak in Hebei, only reports 576 confirmed cases. Is this possible? Probably not, according to the U.S CDC, which used infection rates around the globe to extrapolate that China’s data was “absolutely underestimated”.
But is China’s Covid-19 data really intended to be accurate?
The questionable stats may be designed to spread propaganda to the world and imply that China is doing a better job of controlling the outbreak than other countries while reassuring Chinese nationalists that foreigners are the real threat.
Chinese propaganda also wants to convince its citizens that the coronavirus outbreak may have started outside of China – particularly in the U.S. where they claim it may have been confused with common influenza.
The Global Times continues to repeat these ridiculous claims, which they attribute to Japan’s TV Asahi Corporation.
The Global Times reports that some netizens believe Americans brought Covid-19 to Wuhan:
Perhaps the US delegates brought the coronavirus to Wuhan. And some mutation occurred to the virus, making it more deadly and contagious, and causing a widespread outbreak this year.
China is slowly changing the narrative about Covid-19.
The Chinese government is convincing its citizens that it’s the only country capable of controlling the coronavirus outbreak. And corrupt organizations like the World Health Organization only make China’s goal easier.
The Wuhan coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. It spread because of the Communist Party’s incompetence and obsession with saving face. Now, China’s government is trying to shift the blame to the outside world.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.